Why should you visit New Zealand?

My upbringing in Colorado ensured a fierce love for snow and all the ways to slide down it, a desire to spend most my time outside, and a refusal to sit in an office working the traditional 9 to 5 spirit-crushing job. My educational pursuits got me half the way, but my decision to do my internship in New Zealand has surely sealed my fate as a professional dirtbag living in paradise. 

I'm Kaylee Pickett. I'm 23 years old and I studied Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism at Colorado State University, a program which emphasizes the ‘do what you love’ mentality by educating students on sustainability, resource management, tourism enterprise, and, of course, getting after it. I've been living in Kiwiland for 10 months now, and I want to talk to you about why you should visit New Zealand.

 

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Before NZ

 I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last few years, starting with a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain during my junior year of high school (16 years old), then on to Washington state, Utah, and back to Colorado to finish my undergrad.

Me? I set my sights on New Zealand and the universe carried me to the outdoor recreation mecca: Queenstown. I interviewed with several companies on both the North and South islands of New Zealand, and although they all offered something unique and interesting, none could compete with both the company I chose and the location.

So let's talk about why you should go to New Zealand.

For those of us who love snowboarding, rock climbing, and hiking, or pretty much anything to do with the outdoors, I think New Zealand is always in the back of our minds as the place.

Queenstown, in one word, is paradise. Nestled next to the largest fresh water body of water I’ve ever seen and tucked between some of the steepest peaks on the southern hemisphere, QT provides on all cylinders. The Remarkables and Coronet Peak skifields are within 30 mins drive and deliver awesome on- and off-piste terrain as well as a community of skiers unique to such a small town. City Centre, adorable, clean, and safe, is a collection of delicious restaurants, high-adrenaline tour operators, retail shops, and lots and lots of bars. The population in town is a collection of locals, those here long term, skiers here for the season, and tourists. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone not stoked out of their mind to be here; the atmosphere in town is unlike any place I’ve ever been.

Life in NZ

My reason for heading to New Zealand? Well I am hoping to glean a living from a life in the outdoors. Spend my time in the place that makes me the happiest - outside! I knew to get a foot in the door to the adventure tourism industry I needed some solid skills and some recognised qualifications. Activities like abseiling off 100ft cliffs mean you really want to know your knot from your what not to knot, and many other rock-solid good skills (ha).

That lead me to Pure Exploration and their Adventure Guide Program (AGP). The AGP was everything I needed. 12 weeks of technical skill based training on hiking, rock climbing, outdoor survival skills, swift water rescue safety, Wilderness first aid, guiding training, all completed while exploring the unbelievably epic New Zealand back country on numerous multi-day adventures, road trips and explorations with my new AGP mates. We then completed our NZOIA guiding qualifications and had some solid real world industry work experience with local adventure tourism companies. Literally I got every tool I needed to get into the industry. Obviously you need to work hard, but like anything in life the graft was worth it and I now work and live in Queenstown, guiding groups from Climbing Queenstown (who I met through Pure Ex), and living the dream!

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I’ve lived and worked in Queenstown for 10 months now, and it just keeps getting better. The world opens up when you say yes – yes to a storm-chasing road trip, yes to jumping in the lake during winter, yes to a night out with the people in your hostel, yes to any opportunity that comes your way!

New Zealand truly has something for everyone. The North Island has beaches, surfing, and the largest city in the country. The South Island bodes tons of resort and backcountry skiing, insane places like Fiordland National Park, and a laid-back vibe only Kiwis can provide.

Anyone looking to do an internship/ semester/ general amazing trip abroad can rest assured that New Zealand will not only meet, but exceed, any and all expectations. Gain valuable work experience in an English-speaking country that’s home to endless outdoor opportunities, wildly interesting people from around the world, and the chance learn what it’s like to live and work abroad.

Come join the fun!

Kaylee

IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE GUIDE PROGRAM, PLEASE FIRE THROUGH YOUR DETAILS BELOW FOR A DETAILED ITINERARY!

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Tell me more...

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11th June 2019

And they're off!! Over the next 12 weeks the students on our Expedition Leader program will be sharing their incredible journey with us..Check out blog #1 written by Chloe from Canada - filling us in on arriving into Ecuador and how things went for orientation week 🔥 https://www.pureexploration.nz/about/news/week-one-orientation-expedition-leader-program/

8th June 2019

Day one of the Expedition Leader program 💥 Instructors Keri & Jess are taking the team through orientation to set everyone up mentally for the next three months of travel and experiential education. The crew range from 18-34yo, hailing from Aus, Canada, the US and Hungary 🙌 📷: Jessica Thomas

5th June 2019

Pure Exploration Instructors Keri & Jess have arrived in Quito, Ecuador - ready to welcome the crew to the start of the Expedition Leader Program in a couple of days..The new students will be learning about adventure travel management, group leadership, logistics, expedition style travel in developing regions, along with trekking in some of the world’s most famous and spectacular mountainous and remote regions. Have the best time guys, we can't wait for updates! 🔥 #expeditionleaderprogram #ELP #Pureexploration

18th April 2019

This exceptional bunch of humans have finished up their time with us on the Adventure Guide Program in NZ. Its been so fun having them join us, alongside their awesome instructor Rosey. Keep in touch guys! 😘

8th April 2019

This is Torres del Paine. No explanation required really. So rad. Is Patagonia on your bucket list yet? Go on... https://bit.ly/2IcDTEb

6th April 2019

Our adventure programs take you to some amazing places around the world. The pic is the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Southern China. If you're a hiker, you need to get here. Learn more about where we travel here https://bit.ly/2I0bmmd

4th April 2019

These guys are busy with their NZOIA assessments this week, the final step in our program to putting all the pieces together as far as skills and experiences go. Go team!

25th March 2019

Time to meet the team! This is John. He is one of our Program Instructors, currently leading a group completing the Adventure Guide Program in Queenstown, New Zealand. John grew up enjoying the outdoors of Florida. Having joined the military when he turned 18, he soon began traveling and seeing the world, thus instilling in him a passion for travel. In the military as a JTAC, he was responsible for directing the action of combat aircraft. He received training not only in his core job skills but also navigation, survival, and bushcraft. After the military, he moved to Bend, Oregon to pursue his helicopter pilots license. Climbing in the countless places available to him in Central Oregon, he soon developed a passion for the sport as well as a deeper appreciation for the outdoors. John is a legend with a heart of gold, and an even bigger appetite - for food and for the outdoors! It's awesome having him on our team

24th March 2019

Enjoying the long warm days of Autumn in New Zealand with a week in the glorious surrounds of Mt Cook National Park.

20th March 2019

Adventure Guide Program crew meeting some key adventure tourism industry employers from around New Zealand tonight at our networking event. It's so great to be able to make these connections and get CVs straight into the key recruiters hands.

19th March 2019

Step away from the desk job and join us for a few months of outdoor fun. Go on...

17th March 2019

Orientation week in New Zealand is a chance to settle in, get to know your new team mates and explore this new land which will become home for the next 12 weeks.

14th March 2019

What types of people come on our programs? People from all over the globe join us for adventure travel missions. Generally we see people who are between 19 - 32 years old - taking a break before college, taking a break for getting into the workplace, taking a break from their work desk! It's all about immersing yourself in the outdoors, forgetting the pressures of everyday and enjoying feeling fit, healthy and renews by visiting new places. Join the crew!

12th March 2019

A good spot for reflection (and a cup of tea) after a big week exploring the New Zealand back country.

10th March 2019

It's time to get the hiking backpack out of the cupboard and buy a ticket abroad. Go on....

8th March 2019

Our adventure travel programs are all about living life to the full, getting away from your work desk, putting down that phone and refreshing your soul. Fresh air, fascinating cultures, like minded mates, learning new skills. Join the crew and take some time to focus on you!

8th March 2019

Happy #internationalwomensday ! Women lead the way in so many ways. We are proud to offer young women from around the world the chance to gain confidence in themselves and their skills. Bring on the future!

8th March 2019

When your thousands of kms from home, if you're lucky, you'll find another kind of oddball/amazing family to call your own.

6th March 2019

Views for days

5th March 2019

New kiwi maaaaaaaaates... 🐑🐑🐑

5th March 2019

A huge welcome to the newest crew to join us for an Adventure Guide Program. Enjoy your awesome Orientation Week, then it's business time!

3rd March 2019

Outdoor climbing is a bit scary and can take you a bit to get your head around. But like anything else that pushes you out of your comfort zone, the elation felt with nailing it is unreal! Would you be game to hang from a 20 metre rock face?

1st March 2019

From ultra-light bivvy bags, moisture wicking tops and merino bottoms, to polarized sunglasses, flint firelighters and seam-sealed jackets ... gear nerds are our kinds of people.

1st March 2019

Hailing from: The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, USA, Australia, Greece, Poland and Canada!!! Introducing the March Adventure guide crew on their first day in Queenstown 🙌 Welcome team we are so stoked to have you here!